Coffins – “Beyond The Circular Demise” (Relapse Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Make no mistake, Coffins are here to destroy souls. After more than 20 years, few can be forgiven for not knowing the foreboding doom death noise this Japanese cult band evoke. Spitting in the face of innovation – don’t even think about commercialism – Coffins prefer to dig even deeper into the foul bowels of their evil souls. And when darkness isn’t black enough, when death isn’t the end but the beginning, you’ll find them staring right back at you from the abyss. With 4 full length releases and a jaw dropping array of splits and EPs to make them torchbearers for the underground, comparisons to the likes of Autopsy, Celtic Frost, early Napalm Death and Death are undeniable, but with the added plus being that these guys are still doing it uncompromisingly like they’ve always done. From slow, grinding menace to blast beating noise forays and just about everything in between, Coffins magnificently elicit fear and foreboding through the atmosphere conveyed across the 8 tracks here. Definitely not for the faint hearted or mentally distraught, this 5th album does however go beyond the obvious to subtly include dark melodies and some definite grooves, as well intelligent arrangements throughout to reflect the veteran status of the band, honed not just through their mind boggling discography but countless international tours with just about every extreme band you could think of! With Uchino’s sandpaper grinding guitar leading the way and backed by a fierce n ultra heavy rhythm, Tokita’s bowel grunts andbestial growls add the final dimension of creeping horror to the slithering ‘Impuritious Minds’ that soon morphed into a stylish death grind groove resplendent with plenty of dirt and shifting rhythmic patterns that would have Tom Warrior duly impressed, especially with Uchino’s guitar tone before raising Chris Reifert’s eyebrow in an aggressive punk metal run complete with tortured tremolo a la Rick Rozz – yeah, you can tell I’m enjoying this ha ha! Roaring into the moshpit with Shane Embury on ‘The Tranquil End’, the build up is incredible through the individual instruments before exploding into a huge death grind groove with catchy kick beats and even some squelch effects from Uchino, while Tokita’s muffled tones literally sound like he’s making them buried six feet under – wow. Closing with the near 9 minute ‘Gateways To Dystopia’ brings in massive atmospheric darkness which Coffins use to full effect in bringing suicide inducing capability to this lengthy almost instrumental piece through pummelling drums, trippy breaks, hypnotic gutturals and relentless dirty riffing that pounds and scythes into you mercilessly. Yes folks, Coffins are back.